Broccán (Brogan) Clóen (‘squint[-eyed]’) (d. 650), abbot of Ros Tuirc in Ossory, was credited with the poem, ‘Ní car Brigit búadach bíth’, on the miracles of St Brigit (qv). According to its preface, Broccán's mentor, Ultán (qv) (d. 655/7) of Ardbraccan, had collected accounts of the miracles of Brigit and asked Broccán ‘to relate [them] compendiously [and] with poetic harmony’. It was composed, so the preface also goes, either at Slieve Bloom or at the foundation of St Máedóc (qv) at Cluain Mór (Clonmore, Co. Carlow), and (quite impossibly) in the reign of Lugaid (d. c.507) son of Lóegaire (qv), king of Ireland. There is considerable agreement in both the substance and the order of the miracles narrated between Broccán's ‘hymn’ and the Cogitosus (qv) Life of Brigit (c.650), so that it has been conjectured that the former was based on the latter. The poem itself has no thematic order, and is simply a concatenation of miracles or allusions to miracles. In its extant form it has many late linguistic features that point to a date of composition in the ninth century, but enough archaisms survive to sustain the possibility of original composition in the seventh century, and therefore of Broccán's authorship. His feast-day is 17 September; he is referred to in all of the early martyrologies.
Liber Hymn., i, 112–28; ii, pp l–lvi, 40–46, 189–205 (text, trans., and notes); W. Stokes and J. Strachan, Thesaurus Palaeohibernicus, ii (1903), pp xxxviii–xxxix, 327–49